The Highest Rated Vapor Barrier Underlayment
Ambient has always provided quality products, but we’ve outdone ourselves with our Sound Defender® Vapor Barrier 3 in 1 Rubber Underlayment providing cushioning and sound reduction. This vapor barrier underlayment has the highest sound transmission rating and impact rating of any of our previous underlayments.
Sound reduction is just one of the many benefits to using this product. Everyone that has had to stand on their feet for long periods of time knows how important cushioning is. This 3 mm thick pad will provide long lasting comfort underfoot. Do not forget about the moisture barrier! The gold-foil backing on your soundproof floor underlayment will block any moisture coming up from your subfloor so everything stays totally quiet and dry.
We do not provide installation services but have no fear as there are many high-quality contractors in your state and the majority will be eager to provide a free estimate over the phone or in the comfort of your own home. We recommend that you check out our helpful article titled 7 Tips For Choosing A Floor Installer.
Below are a few questions you will want to consider before placing your order:
1. What type of subfloor (usually plywood or concrete) will the floor be installed over?
2. Do you already have a specific plan to float, nail, or glue down the floor, and if so, why?
3. What other types of flooring will the floor be butting up to? Will you require transition pieces and how many?
4. How much flooring will you need to complete the job? Have you added waste?
5. When do you plan to start, and when do you need to receive the flooring material?
6. What kind of traffic do you expect on the flooring? Do you have kids, dogs, is it a commercial space?
7. Will you be installing the floor yourself, or hiring a professional?
We highly recommend reading our Shipping Policy for a comprehensive explanation of our shipping processes.
We ship most freight orders (over 125 lbs) out within 4 business days of purchase, the average being 2 business days. For faster shipment of freight orders, we offer an Expedited Shipping option at checkout however please note that this simply means that we will ship the order out the next business day - it does not shorten the transit time once shipped. For small parcel orders we offer express UPS shipping options at checkout as well; please note that for express shipping services the order must be placed by 2pm EST in order to ship out that same day, otherwise we will process the shipment the next business day. We do not ship out orders, nor do the shipping companies deliver them, on weekends.
For residential lift-gate freight order deliveries, once the flooring order arrives at the local freight terminal, they will call you to schedule your delivery appointment, which is usually a 2-6 hour window on the day of your choosing (weekdays only) when possible. All deliveries are curbside as the freight companies do not offer inside delivery.
- You can send an email with your desired materials list or purchase order to [email protected], and our support team will email you a quote with a payment button.
- You can call our support team directly at (866) 710-7070 and place your order over the phone.
We highly recommend you review our Shipping Policy, which has a lot of great information and a short video about the shipping process. When your order ships out we’ll send you a notification email with all of your shipping information. Once the shipment arrives at the local freight terminal near your delivery location, the terminal staff will call you to schedule a delivery appointment* (weekdays, usually a 2-6 hour window). Make sure you don’t miss the delivery appointment or the freight company may charge a hefty re-delivery fee. *if you have selected commercial/freight dock delivery, freight may be delivered without needing an appointment
Once the order arrives, ensure you mark any damages you see on the driver’s bill of lading (they’ll then usually give you a copy). You don’t have to open and inspect every item, just look at the outside of the pallet – that is where the shipping damage will be. Ensure you write the number of damaged items and detailed notes, then take photos of the damaged items and email all of this information to your Ambient representative to ensure we can ship out free replacements.
Important note: If your delivery location is located on a road that cannot be accessed by a semi-trailer truck, you may be required to pick the freight up at the local terminal or meet the driver at an intermediary location.
We accept the following payments:
1. All major credit and debit cards.
2. Personal and bank checks (please note there may be a 14-day shipping delay).
3. ACH payments.
4. Paypal. In fact, PayPal Credit offers financing.
None of our products are brought inside the delivery location by the driver. All small parcel shipments are at the discretion and policy of the shipping company. All freight shipments are curbside delivery with lift-gate unless you specifically request freight dock delivery. Curbside delivery means they lower the pallet on the street at the end of the driveway. The drivers are not required to enter the property boundaries, although if not hazardous sometimes they’ll back up the driveway (if it’s flat and short) and drop the pallet on the driveway.
Someone must be on-site to receive the delivery and inspect it for exterior damage, and then note any damage on the driver’s bill of lading (otherwise we can’t send free replacements). We highly recommend that you do not pay laborers to sit around and wait for the delivery, as the freight companies do sometimes miss appointments and they do not reimburse for such lapses. In some cases at the time of checkout, our website will allow you to add "Garage Delivery" for an additional fee, but this includes rolling the materials pallet into a carport or garage only, and terms and conditions apply.
For nail down installations, we recommend that you use either 15 lb felt paper (asphalt-saturated roofing paper, essentially) or red rosin paper.
Please note that 3-in-1 underlayment should only be installed under floating floors and should not be used in nail-down installations, as the compressive quality of the pad can result in loose nails, compromised structural stability, and noisy floors.
Yes, we sell several different products that provide sound insulation - underlayment and adhesive. To see these products visit our Installation Supplies page and check out our underlayments and adhesives. Many condominiums have sound insulation requirements for flooring. There are two sound tests that are the industry standard for sound insulation: IIC and STC. We have ratings as high as 83 STC and 85 IIC for underlayments and as high as STC 70 and IIC 66 for adhesives. The biggest benefit to using our high STC/IIC underlayments and adhesives is that you do not need to buy cork or other soundproofing and then pay someone additional to install it. Just float the flooring over the underlayment or glue the floor down using the sound reduction adhesive and you can substantially reduce sound transmission between levels in your home as well as muffling sounds from footsteps.
FLOATING FLOORS. In order to choose the right underlayment you have to ask yourself two questions: Do I need moisture protection, and how much am I willing to pay for sound reduction. When installing over concrete or over a crawl space, an underlayment with a moisture barrier (usually a thin layer of plastic or foil) is a must-have. This protects your wood floor from moisture rising up and damaging your floor from beneath. These are called 3 in 1 underlayment.
What are the 3 features of a 3 in 1 underlayment?
1) Moisture/vapor barrier
2) Impact absorption and sound transfer reduction
3) Cushioning for comfort
Remember that you will still need your sub-floor to be very flat before you begin the installation, as the underlayment only accounts for minor sub-floor imperfections. The second question having to do with how much sound reduction you want is simple - all underlayments have STC and IIC ratings that tell you how much sound they block. The lower the rating, the higher the echo or knocking sound when you walk on the floor. Underlayment with a 70+ STC and IIC rating will muffle noise much better than an underlayment with a 50 STC rating. As you may have guessed, underlayments with higher STC and IIC ratings are more expensive due to the quality of the materials or thickness of their construction.
While it can be a bummer if your shipment arrives damaged – it is not the end of the world! We can easily send you free replacements for anything that was damaged in transit - all we ask is that you do not refuse the shipment and mark any damages on the receipt provided by the driver. After that, please take a few photos of product while it is still on the pallet and email them to [email protected] so we can make a record on your account. Then, please examine the items further once you've brought them inside to determine the extent of the damage, and take photos of affected areas if you require replacements. Once we receive the details and photos we will send out the replacements right away. Most of the time, installers will be able to work around the damage instead of waiting to get replacements. For more information please see our Shipping Policy page.
Occasionally you will have an item with a visible defect either in the stain, finish, or milling. Like most building materials suppliers our effective defect rate is under the industry-standard 3%. However, if you are finding that more than 3% of the product you have ordered has defects, please let us know as soon as possible so we can resolve the matter quickly.
We recommend that you review our handy Return Shipping Guide to see the detailed steps to return your order.
Yes, we may be able to accommodate this, but please note that we may still apply a small shipping and handling fee to your order. Please reach out to your sales representative for details.
Absolutely! We’ve shipped our products to such far-flung locations as Guam, Kenya, Tanzania, Bahrain, Great Britain, Kuwait, France, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, and many more. Please note that international shipments may require you to procure the services of a freight forwarder at the port of discharge; most port authorities can provide recommendations for reputable freight forwarders that service your home port. Also, minimum order quantities may apply to some countries. Call your Ambient representative today at (866) 710-7070 for shipping quotes to your country!
No, asphalt-saturated felt paper is NOT a moisture barrier (neither the 15lb. felt nor the 30 lb felt). It may help to slow down moisture and have some wicking qualities, but it does not stop it. If you need a moisture barrier for a floating floor, you will need to use a 3 in 1 underlayment. For a nail-down floor, there is no vapor barrier underlayment available, so you will need to seal the moisture concern somewhere below the subfloor, or you will need to glue the floor down with a vapor barrier adhesive.
STC and IIC sound ratings indicate the ability of a material to muffle footfall noise and reduce sound transmissions between levels. An underlayment or adhesive with a high STC and IIC rating will not only reduce sound transmission between levels more effectively, but it will also reduce footfall noise within the room more effectively. Materials with higher STC and IIC sound ratings tend to be more expensive, and sometimes thicker, than underlayments with low sound ratings.
3 in 1 underlayment should never be used when nailing down a floor. These underlayments are nullified as a vapor barrier once you nail through them, and the compression of the pad results in the loosening of the cleats over time, which can result in noise squeaks and also structurally compromise the floor. Most installers use 15 lb asphalt-saturated felt paper when nailing down a floor, it reduces wood-on-wood squeaking and helps wick moisture away from the bottoms of the flooring planks (please note that 15 lb felt paper is not a vapor barrier!).
Remember, if you're nailing down a strand woven bamboo floor, it is required you use an 18 gauge cleat nailer.
At Ambient, we value the brave men and women that serve in our nation's armed forces and law enforcement agencies. We offer a 5% discount off all products for active-duty members of our U.S. armed forces and full-time local and state law enforcement. Clearance items and odd lots do not qualify for this discount and it cannot be combined with other promotions. Call (866) 710-7070 for additional details.
For flooring and plywood we strongly recommend ordering a sample before placing your final order, so you can ensure that the shading will be to your liking. Our flooring and plywood samples have a dye lot number sticker on the back of them. Our website checkout process will ask you to type in this dye lot number before final payment; alternatively, if ordering via email or over the phone simply mention this lot number to your Ambient representative and we will update the order with it and ship that exact lot number. If we don't have that lot number available (it has sold out) but we have a matching lot, we will ship the matching lot. If we do not have a matching lot, we will not ship your order until you approve samples of the new lot.
Please remember that photographs on our website are taken from a variety of devices and under many different lighting conditions, and are viewed on a wide range of computer monitors and contrast settings, thus we do not guarantee that any floor will match the photographs on the website. If you order your flooring sight unseen (without receiving samples first), Ambient is not responsible for light or shading variation or differences and thus not responsible for return shipping costs (which can be expensive and can vary greatly depending on where you live and the size of your order).
If you receive the order from the exact lot number you requested, or you order sight unseen (you do not provide a dye lot number at checkout), and you decide after it arrives that you want to return the order, you will be responsible for return shipping charges. For flooring orders, please see our 30 Day Money-Back Guarantee for more information.
Yes you can! However you must use our urethane adhesive with vapor and sound retarder** in combination with our Super Silencer underlayment. For maximum effect, you can first glue the underlayment down to the sub-floor, then glue the flooring down to the underlayment. You will need a 1/4 in by 1/4 in v-notch trowel, and some adhesive remover wipes are always recommended when gluing down any floor.
**IMPORTANT NOTE: IXPE-backed flooring is not recommended for glue down installation and is not warranted if installed via this method; however, floors backed with cork underlayment are warranted for glue down installation. Be sure to confirm that your flooring choice is compatible for glue down installations before following the steps above.
The IIC and STC ratings represent how much sound blockage there is. For example a rating of 70 is a measurement of the total sound blockage for the whole system (floor + glue) when installed on a 6" suspended slab with a ceiling system beneath. The Delta IIC is the difference in sound AFTER the barrier is put in. I.e. the Delta IIC reflects the change in impact insulation as a result of the floor and glue system. A Delta IIC of 20 is very good.
If you'd like to know more we recommend reading this page.
Cork underlayment is usually recommended because of it’s sound-muffling qualities, but we sell 3 in 1 underlayments that have higher STC and IIC sound ratings than cork (meaning better sound-muffling), so we normally recommend those when installing in the floating method. If you're gluing the floor down, you can use an adhesive that contains a sound barrier.
We have a couple of 3 in 1 underlayments, and the best way to see what each one is comprised of is to visit our bamboo flooring installation and accessories page and read the product details for each product.
Our Super Silencer and Sound Defender have some of the highest STC/IIC sound absorption ratings in the market, are great for condominiums and for muffling foot-fall noise, and are necessary to install floating floors. The Super Silencer is made from cross-linked closed-cell polyethylene foam (also called IXPE foam). The Sound Defender is a 3 mm thick gold-foil-backed rubber underlayment. Both have advanced moisture protection, shock absorption, and include an adhesive strip with overlap film for ease of installation.
For legal businesses that qualify as a trade account (must be in the building trades), or you plan to order more than $10,000 cumulatively in building materials in the future on multiple projects, we encourage you to apply for a trade account on our B2B page. Our wholesale discounts vary depending on sales volume and can range from 5% to 35% off our retail prices. We also offer container level pricing for large projects at extremely competitive prices, and can manufacture a large array of products not featured on our website such as custom thicknesses, lengths, widths, colors and surface treatments (minimum order quantities apply).
Typically, if the finished basement is climate controlled, you do not need a moisture barrier in between the subfloor and the new floor you are installing. However, some basements can emit excessive humidity – upwards of 70%. To be sure, we recommend testing the humidity with a hygrometer to get an accurate idea of the indoor air humidity, and you can also test the humidity on the main grade sub-floor itself.
If excessive moisture is coming up from the basement, you have a few options:
1) Glue down the floor using an adhesive with a vapor barrier.
2) Choose a click-lock floating floor and install on top of a 3 in 1 vapor barrier underlayment.
Both of these will seal off your floor and protect it from any sub-floor moisture.
|SOUND RATING||IIC 85, STC 83|
|WEIGHT PER ROLL||55 lbs|
|CAN BE USED FOR||hardwood, bamboo, engineered, laminate|
|MSDS Document||Print Now|
|ITEM NUMBER (UPC)||691324728215|